Birdwatching Equipment

You don’t need much equipment to begin bird watching. The most basic equipment required is your eyes and ears. However, if you want more success and enjoyment from your hobby here are a few of my suggestions for those extra things that you should be thinking about.

Binoculars

A good set of binoculars is a must for bird watching. Of course, you can go birding without them, but you will be missing out on so much around you. As a beginner, you won't need to spend too much as a decent pair can cost from as little as $150 to over $1000 for a real professional pair. I think it’s best to stick with a reasonably priced pair as a beginner, at least until you get a better feel for what kind of binoculars you like.

Field Guides

There is nothing more frustrating for a birdwatcher than seeing a bird and not being able to identify it. A field guide is a book which describes all of the birds in a given area. There should be an illustration of the bird,  description of plumage and calls, information on habitat and a range map showing where they normally occur.  These are the two vital field guides for anyone wishing to visit Thailand.

Footwear

If your feet aren’t comfortable, it will be hard to enjoy yourself while birding. Footwear should be lightweight but supportive, especially around the ankles if the terrain is rough going. The material is best waterproof and should be tough enough to protect against forest floor biters.

Clothing

First and foremost, clothing to go birding in should be lightweight, comfortable and quick drying. When choosing pants or shirts take note of pocket sizes and loops to store your essentials like field guides and notebooks. A decent hat with a wide brim is also indispensable as the sun can be intense.

Water Bottles

A good quality water bottle is a must for your birding trip. Choose a bottle that is lightweight, but strong enough to take knocks and accidental drops. Remember, many national parks these days do not allow single use plastic bottles, so by taking your own, you will be sure to bring it back with you.

Seating

A small, strong, lightweight stool is also a really good idea for when you need to take a break or are waiting for a bird to show. Walkstool is a great, three legged stool with telescopic legs, so it is small enough to fit in your backpack or light enough to clip onto your belt.

Backpacks

For birding, it’s best to have something small, lightweight, and comfortable. Freedom of movement, while hiking from one hot spot to the other, is the key to a great pack. 

Insect Repellents

There is nothing more annoying than the constant buzzing mozzies and flies, let alone the possible dangers of insect bites.

Socks and Leech Socks

Keep those suckers out of your boots.

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